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Murray v Djokovic: The Rivalry

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 05-06-2016

Andy Murray will face Novak Djokovic in Sunday's French Open final, a seventh Grand Slam final meeting between the pair in what is becoming an epic rivalry.

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Murray has the advantage of victory in their most recent meeting, clay-court final success in the Rome Masters final seeing him record a significant Masters win ahead of the French Open.

The peerless world No 1 was strongly favoured to deny Murray in the Italian capital and secure a victory which would push him further up the list of the sport's greats.

He failed to vanquish the Briton for the second successive Masters final which would have helped him secure his fifth Rome crown and his 18th successive victory over other top 10 players.

Ahead of their last meeting with Murray on clay, Djokovic told Sky Sports: "Andy has improved tremendously on clay and has proved he is definitely one of the best in the world on this surface.

"The rivalry continues and we've had so many good finals. I look forward to another one."

Djokovic now holds a 23-10 win-loss record against the Scot and a 4-1 advantage on clay and has lost only twice in their last 14 meetings dating back to the Wimbledon final in 2013.

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Here, we delve into the archives and look back at their most important previous matches.

2011: Australian Open, final, Djokovic won 6-4 6-2 6-3

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Having lost to Roger Federer the previous year and in New York two years before, Murray was looking finally to prove he could cut it in a Grand Slam final.

The Scot's wretched record in major finals continued, however, as he went down in straight sets to an inspired Djokovic, who began the season by winning 43 consecutive matches and ended it with three slam titles.

"Djokovic not only broke the Nadal-Federer stranglehold on the game's major trophies, the 23-year-old Serbian made a compelling case to be admitted to their elite company," said the Sydney Morning Herald.

2012: Australian Open, semi-final, Djokovic won 6-3 3-6 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 7-5

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Murray had the perfect opportunity to exact revenge on Djokovic the following year in Melbourne, and he almost did it during an epic encounter that lasted four hours and 50 minutes.

Having just appointed Ivan Lendl as his coach, Murray fought back from losing the first set to win the next two, but defending champion Djokovic recovered to clinch victory and give Murray the unwanted tag of being the first man in the open era to be eliminated in semi-finals at four successive Grand Slams.

2012: London Olympics, semi-final, Murray won 7-5 7-5

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Just a month after suffering a heartbreaking Wimbledon final loss to Roger Federer, Murray enjoyed what was then his finest run on the grass of the All England Club, beating Djokovic to guarantee himself a medal at his home Olympics. Murray lapped up the attention from the raucous crowd and went on to beat Federer in the final to win gold.

2012: US Open, final, Murray won 7-6 (12-10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2

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Murray ended Britain's 76-year wait for a Grand Slam men's singles champion after an epic victory that took four hours and 54 minutes to achieve.

The Scot sank to his knees and covered his mouth in disbelief at what he had achieved following four failed attempts to win a grand slam final.

"When I realised I had won, I was a little bit shocked, I was very relieved and I was very emotional," Murray said after recovering from letting a two-set lead slip away to win in five.

2013, Australian Open, final, Djokovic won 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-2

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Djokovic underlined his physical superiority as he recovered from a set down to win in four sets and become the first man in the Open era to win three Australian Open titles in a row.

Again the match was a dogfight as the first two sets alone ran for well over two hours. One crucial moment came at 2-2 in the second-set tiebreaker, when Murray stopped in the middle of a second serve to catch a white feather as it floated to the ground - and then double-faulted, giving Djokovic an opening that he bolted through.

"I thought it was a good idea to move (the feather)," Murray said "Maybe it wasn't because I obviously double-faulted. No, you know, at this level it can come down to just a few points here or there."

2013, Wimbledon, final, Murray won 6-4 7-5 6-4

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The match that will define Murray's career ended with one of the most dramatic matches ever seen in a Grand Slam final. The Scot had fought back from a break down to win the second set and recovered from a similar deficit in the third to leave himself serving for victory.

He looked to have done it when he moved to 40-0 but Djokovic saved all three match points and had three break points of his own before finally netting a backhand on Murray's fourth chance.

"Mentally, that last game will be the toughest game I'll play in my career," said Murray after he had finally consigned Fred Perry's status as the last British man to win a Wimbledon singles title to history.

2014, US Open, quarter-final, Djokovic won 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 6-4

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Djokovic won all four of their matches last year as Murray struggled to regain form and fitness following back surgery.

It was all to play for after they shared the first two sets in New York, with Murray blasting forehands, but he let the momentum slip early in the third set and was never able to regain it as he faded physically.

The contest began at 9.43pm local time in New York and the clock was well past 1am by the time it had finished.

Murray admitted that Djokovic’s physicality had been crucial to the outcome of the match: "I am obviously disappointed. It is extremely late. I am tired and I don’t feel particularly proud right now."

2015, Australian Open, final, Djokovic won 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-0

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Djokovic beat Murray to win fifth Australian Open title, but the four set victory was punishing and painful on both players.

The Scot had his chances and for two-and-a-half-sets both players went at it hammer and tongs, but Murray was eventually outfought, and seemingly outkidded, as the Serb looked down and out after going a break down in the third before miraculously reviving and going on to win the battle.

"I would like to congratulate Novak - it is a fantastic record and thoroughly deserved," said Murray, after losing his fourth Melbourne final.

"It is probably my most consistent Grand Slam throughout my career but I just haven't been able to win."

2015, French Open, semi-final, Djokovic won 6-3 6-3 5-7 5-7 6-1

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Murray's hopes of winning a third Gram Slam title were crushed again by Djokovic after the world No 1 held off a spirited fightback to book his place in the French Open final.

Murray had clawed back the third set before play was suspended at 3-3 in the fourth and the British No 1 picked up where he left off the following day by breaking in the 11th game of the fourth set to send it to a fifth.

Djokovic, however, was relentless in the final set, breaking twice to clinch victory, sealing his win with an ace, although he was beaten by Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka in the final.

"This is one of the toughest matches we have had, no doubt about that," said Djokovic. "We tend to run each other around and play cat and mouse game, and it's tiring. It's exhausting to play him."

2015, Montreal Masters, final, Murray won 6-4 4-6 6-3

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Finally an eight-match losing streak that dated back to Murray's 2013 Wimbledon victory was snapped.

Murray converted his fifth attempt at match point to end a two-year drought against Djokovic just hours after his coach Amelie Mauresmo gave birth.

The Scot dominated the match from the baseline as he claimed an 11th Masters title. He will now head into the Paris Masters final with an overall win-loss record of 20-9 against the world No 1, winning just one of their last 10 encounters.

2016, Australian Open, final, Djokovic won 6-1 7-5 7-6 (7-3)

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Murray racked up five losing finals at the same slam - an Open Era record - and appeared like a man with his mind elsewhere with fatherhood imminent.

The match itself did not live up to the occasion as Djokovic made it look all too easy on his favourite surface, equalling Roy Emerson's record of six Australian titles.

Murray said courtside: "I feel like I've been here before. Congratulations Novak, six Australian Opens, an incredible feat, and incredible consistency the last year."

Murray won only five points in the first 20 minutes in a slow-burning contest as Murray racked up a number of unforced errors.

Djokovic, 171-1 in his career when two sets up, made it No 172 despite Murray taking the third to a tie-break.

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